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Sweatpants & TV | Taken, Season 2, Episode 1: “S.E.R.E”

By Lesley Gayle

In the Season Two premier of Taken, Bryan breaks out of a Mexican jail (in the greatest opening sequence for a series in a long time) and Christina breaks into a security software company and steals their latest version.

After being dumped in a Mexican prison for shooting Mejia, Bryan fights fellow inmates in a betting scam, throwing the fights when it matters.

For his bloodied face, he gets to keep all the gold fillings he beats out of other criminals’ mouths or jewelry he can tear, or bite off of them. (I’m glad no one had a nipple ring.) He also gets free stuff from his conspirator. He uses soap to carve a mold and detergent to melt down all the jewelry into a gold shiv.

Bryan breaks out in a guard’s uniform after stabbing him with his shiv, then he befriends a family escaping the corrupt Mexican police to America.

Bryan pays the smugglers with his gold shiv and several shotguns and nearly blowing holes into all of them. Before they make the border, the daughter and Bryan are taken by a human trafficking ring. The traffickers have a connection to Gary in the FBI. Gary wants Bryan dead. Gary’s a grade A dick. He’s on the line for the drug ring from last season.

Christina Hart meanwhile has gone to work for a security software company whose software can be used to find people. She has to endure a boss who thinks he’s God’s gift to the Universe. Luckily, he underestimates her.

She gains access to version 2.0 of the software then uses it and an imprisoned hacker to locate Bryan. She also hires more field ops to help save Bryan.

We meet Santana with an African warlord, trading for illegal stuff. The warlord decides he’ll keep her trade and his equipment. He underestimated her too. Santana already bribed the warlord’s guard to kill him.

All last season, Hart scolded Bryan about not killing people, even bad people, unless she decided they needed killin’ (whereupon she would have Bryan sniper their butts, or unleash a serial killer to chew their face off).  Here, Santana casually checks a phone message from Hart when Santana is tired of dealing with the Warlord. We hear the warlord shot in the background. I find it funny that Hart, with her higher morals, had this bad ass, dishonorably discharged solider, on speed dial!

Long story short, Bryan saves the girl, gets to the border, only to be met by more of Gary’s heavily armed bad guys.

He’s saved by Santana and her excessive use of force.

Bryan reunites the teenage girl with her family on the US side of the border. We won’t dwell on how they’ll manage to stay in the country legally.

Favorite moments:

Feminine wiles

Hart gets the scoop on how things work at the office from Langston. Yes, “Langston.” No digital cameras are allowed in the facility, only polaroid. (Why are ANY cameras allowed around top secret stuff?) Langston is easy pickings.

Hart’s School for Gifted Mercenaries?

There are too many Superhero references to be ignored this week.

Exhibit A: Bryan makes a shiv out of contraband. And he stabs a guard with it, like this bearded guy would:

Exhibit B: Hart steals software that can find anyone in the world. On the computer screen it looks a bit too much like Xavier’s Cerebro that can find anyone in the world.

Exhibit C: The software is kept in a special room, that looks like Magneto’s prison cell.

It’ll be fun if I can keep this analogy going all season.

Our Villain

This season I’m hoping to see some good bad guys. But this episode was about Bryan’s escape. So our bad guy who needs Bryan killed, is another desk jockey tied to last year. Gary thinks he’s so sly.

Luckily he gets his ass handed to him. Well, he’s fired at least. He should get a little more than THAT!

Wayne Manner

To beat the super hero theme to death, we meet Kilroy. He’s a hacker that Hart put away. She gives him work release with an ankle monitor. He even thinks he’s setting up Batman’s headquarters.

Bruce has a cave, not a belfry, Kilroy. But I’m guessing Kilroy will be more Deadpool to Bryan’s Wolverine.

Guilt Trip

When they finally meet again, Hart gives Mills a guilt trip over the team disbanding due to his recklessness. Bryan throws down a thumb drive containing all the information needed to take down an entire human trafficking network. The thumb drive was obtained, on his way out the door from saving the girl, after almost being assassinated, and right before he was almost blown up by the FBI. So Hart backs off on her guilt trips for now.

In the end, Hart must once again ask Bryan if he’ll work for her. He wants the power to do things his way. She relents to his conditions.

Tune in next week to see what trouble Kilroy, Mills and Santana cause!

Picture source: NBC & Taken

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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